You must have heard of it. Pinterest, launched in March 2010, became the fastest website ever to hit 10m unique users. At the very beginning the site proceeded to operate by invitation-only while now registration is possible after an email request.
But what is Pinterest and why is it growing so fast? Pinterest is a content curation platform which allows users to organize and share beautiful and interesting content, such as photos and videos, they find on the web. Just like a bookmarking site.
Content is organised in "Boards" that work as categories. Each piece of content is called a "Pin". People can "like" your pins and/or they can "repin" them on to their boards, comment on them and share on Facebook and Twitter. It looks like this:
Like Twitter, there are no privacy restrictions, so anyone can see your posts whether they follow you or not. But in order to interact with another user, you have to follow them and vice versa.
Pinterest does have its challenges though.
Copyright is a major issue for Pinterest to deal with. The vast majority of pictures on Pinterest are pinned by people who don't have any copyright permission to do so. No one is really sure yet whether that is permitted.
Users have also complained about the overly-basic format for comments. Your caption will appear as one long line of text, regardless of how many words you use. There is no option for paragraph breaks, bullets or subheads, so lengthy descriptions get really clunky.
Lastly, much like other services that experienced rapid growth (Twitter for example), the company will have to quickly boost its infrastructure and achieve the capacity to host millions of videos, pictures and graphics.
I'm still testing Pinterest and i think it that it can be a terrific tool for sharing content virally especially if you’re into arts, jewellery, clothing, décor, etc. as it’s a powerful and easy tool to showcase your work.
I'm not sure though whether i can think of it as "social media" since it isn't really about interactions as much as it is finding unique ideas and information. In this ever evolving social media world some things are cool and will stay while most others are just passing-by and are simply part of an evolutionary process. I think Pinterest is part of that process. What do you think?